Facebook and The News

Jacob Silverman at The Baffler:

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FACEBOOK and news publishers is a bizarre charade, peopled by unreliable characters, dotted with contradictions, suffused with dependency and resentment. Over ten long years, Facebook kneecapped the newspaper industry by devouring its main revenue stream. Together, Facebook and Google now take in more than 65 percent of digital advertising dollars—an extraordinary haul given that these sites grew fat in part by indexing and sharing the content produced by news organizations.

Just don’t call Facebook a publisher, please. By its own conception, it’s a platform, aspiring toward neutrality, that needs publishers to provide it with high-quality content that users can like, share, and comment upon. In this bland spirit of connection, both sides need each other.

more here.